(Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 9) Faith in the Holy Trinity Lord's Day 8 Psalter No. 71 st. 3 Isaiah 45 Psalter No. 420 st. 5 Psalter No. 422 st. 4 Psalter No. 32 st. 3, 4 Beloved: The old covenant people, Israel, were highly privileged above the heathens. The advantage of the Jew is, according to the word of the apostle, much every way. In whatever manner you view Israel and from whatever aspect you look at it, it has advantages above the heathen, "chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." For in His Word, both in the Old and New Testament, the Lord reveals Himself as much as is necessary in this life to His glory and to the salvation of His elect. Also in nature God reveals Himself "by the creation, preservation and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God, namely, His power and divinity," as the apostle saith. This revelation in nature, however, does not teach us the way of salvation. The sun, moon and stars, yea, the entire creation, do not tell us that God is one God and a Triune God, nor do they speak of Christ, through Whom alone a sinner can be reconciled to God. Paul also tells us that this revelation of God is sufficient to convince men (namely, that there is a God) and to leave them without excuse. Nobody, not even a blind heathen shall be able to say before the judgment seat of God, "I did not know there was a God." For the salvation of His people, He has revealed Himself in His Word, and that Word He gave only to Israel under the old dispensation, but in the days of the new covenant He gave it to all nations. How great then was the advantage of the Jew and the profit of circumcision; how great is the advantage of all who live in the light of the Gospel. To them the way of salvation out of their misery is clearly presented in God's Word; and life eternal is made known as consisting of the knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The means to attain this knowledge is given to them, and by the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, it can bear fruit unto salvation. For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. In that Word, God has revealed Himself in Christ for the salvation of His elect. That Word alone tells us there is one God, speaks of His perfections, and teaches us the great mystery that God is one in essence, but three in persons. We must now deal with the Trinity according to the eighth Lord's Day of our Heidelberg Catechism. Lord's Day 8 Q. 24: How are these articles divided? A. Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption; the third of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification. Q. 25: Since there is but one only divine essence, why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? A. Because God has so revealed Himself in His Word, that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God. This Lord's Day speaks of faith in the Holy Trinity. That faith I contains the humble acknowledgment of the existence of God; II embraces the revelation of the Trinity; III is a fountain of comfort for the people of God. I The seventh Lord's Day began the discussion of faith, and told of its absolute necessity, of its true nature, and of the rich summary of faith. Later Lord's Day 23 shall speak of the profit of faith, and Lord's Day 25 of the Author of faith. The explanation of what a Christian must believe is found in Lord's Days 8-22. In these Lord's Days, that which is confessed in the twelve articles is explained; and that explanation begins with discussing the mystery of the Holy Trinity. A ready occasion for this discussion lies in the division of these articles. This division is not arbitrary, but is connected with that which led to composing the Twelve Articles, namely the formula for baptizing: "I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." Question 24 returns to that basic confession, and asks, "How are these articles divided?" "Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption, the third of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification." You may ask, and the unbeliever may cast before you, has not the instructor forgotten something? Did he not forget to prove that there is a God? Before going into more detail of the essence of God, should he not have given proof that there is a God? So many people deny it. The number of those who mock at God and at religion is growing, and if it were proved that there is a God, atheism would disappear. No, indeed, do not think that an atheist can be convinced. It is with an atheist as it was with the Pharisees when Jesus was on earth. No matter how many signs Jesus did, showing forth His divine power and glory, they were not sufficient proofs for them that He was the promised Messiah. He must show them a sign from heaven, to prove His heavenly origin. Let the Lord's answer to them be also our answer to the willfully blind atheist, "There shall no sign be given thee, but the sign of Jonah, the prophet." In the day of judgment it shall be shown to you in your eternal condemnation that there is a God. The Catechism need not prove the existence of God. God has revealed Himself in all men. Man has an innate knowledge of God, a consciousness that there is a God. But the atheist treads upon that consciousness and gives no heed to that voice. How then can you give him any proof? No man is born an atheist; an atheist is made by willfully hardening his conscience out of enmity against God. He does not want to acknowledge that there is a God. Men have tried to prove the existence of God with five proofs for those who deny it. But although these proofs may strengthen the conviction of him who believe the existence of God, they cannot convince the atheist. He willfully closes his eyes and says, "I see no proof of the existence of God." He needs only to open his eyes and give up his atheism. Then he shall see the works of God and exclaim, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork", then he shall hear the voice of his conscience which tells him that there is a God, who tells us in His Word, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." He revealed Himself in nature and in Scripture. "Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment?" (Prov. 30:4) "To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will you compare unto Him?" (Isa. 40:18) God's Word speaks of Him, beside Whom there is no God. Why then ask for evidences to prove the existence of God more clearly? Every attempt to prove that God exists must fail, if this must serve to convince a willful atheist. Such an attempt is even forbidden. The Reformers have always held this. In the conscience of even the blindest heathen there is an impression that there is a God, and in no place upon earth will you find even one nation without religion. That religion is not the result of a scheme of the priests, as the atheists say. How could the priests have such persuasive powers upon millions of heathens, if there was not an innate consciousness in their heart that there is a higher being "which we call God," as our confession says. God is and has created the consciousness of His existence in the heart of every man. We are born with that consciousness. And although the blind heathens are polytheists, yet even in his blindness he shows that he is conscious of the existence of God. Moreover, how would men want to prove that there is a God? Must we show an image of God? God is a spirit and cannot be seen by men's eyes. Or do men want mathematical proof, as we prove that two times two are four? Only bitter hatred of God would ask for such proofs "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt they have done abominable works, there is none that does good." (Psalm 14:1) According to God's Word they are fools, however learned they may be in the opinion of worldlings, if they demand proof for the existence of God; all their arguments are foolish, even though they may seem wise. Foolish is everyone who tries to give proof to convince an atheist. Do not seek to place yourself on a level with the atheist to debate with him, but attack him in his conscience by summoning him before the judgment seat of God, who gave also him that innate consciousness that there is a God, and by whom he shall be judged. Why does he still speak of God; why does he curse, if there is no God? If he is given over to hardness of his heart, so that he entirely neglects God, not deigning even to say His Name, you may know that his condemnation is near. Even the devils believe there is a God, and they tremble. Has man sunk lower than the devils? Thus every man, even every heathen, has an innate consciousness that there is a God. That consciousness is strengthened by the knowledge obtained from creatures outside of us, and particularly from that which Scripture teaches us. True knowledge of God we cannot have by nature. Therefore the Lord's Word tells us by nature we are without God in the world. God's people receive that true knowledge, because the Lord reveals Himself to them according to the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus. God's elect receive a knowledge of God in this life, a knowledge of His attributes, so that they learn to bow before Him in the dust, to acknowledge their guilt, and to make supplication to their Judge. They learn to know God, Whom they do not see, but Whose love and mercy they experience to their salvation. He is the God of their salvation, in Whose communion lies their life, and Whom they shall praise and adore to all eternity. So the Catechism has not forgotten anything. He builds upon the foundation laid in Scripture, and so he comes directly to the doctrine of the Trinity. "Since there is but one only divine essence, why speakest thou of Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Because God has so revealed Himself in His Word, that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God." Thus we come to our second main point: II that faith embraces the revelation of the Trinity. God has revealed Himself in His Word as the Triune God. Without the Word we do not know this mystery. Nature does not speak of it; sun, moon, stars, plants, trees and animals are not able to explain the most exalted mystery of the Divine Trinity. In His Word, God reveals Himself more clearly and perfectly than in nature. That Word speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Who are the only true God; one in Essence, and three in Persons, an unfathomable mystery for our understanding. Was it any wonder that the heathens had no knowledge of this mystery? They knelt for Dagon, Baal, Moloch, and Ashteroth, but they did not know the only true God; much less did those polytheists know about the wonderful existence of God in three Persons. I did not say consisting of three Persons, for the glorious essence of God is not formed by the union of three persons, as if one third of that Essence is in the Father, one third in the Son and one third in the Spirit. In God all is one, without combination of parts or matters; and so Scripture teaches us that the whole essence of God is in the Father, but also in the Son, and also in the Holy Ghost. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Ghost is God; the Father is another, the Son is another, and the Holy Ghost is another. Therefore these three names are not three names for the same Person, but for three Persons. Nevertheless we have not three gods, but one God. "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord." "Hence then, it is evident that the Father is not the Son, nor the Son the Father, and likewise the Holy Ghost is neither the Father, nor the Son. Nevertheless, these persons thus distinguished are not divided, nor intermixed; for the Father has not assumed the flesh, nor has the Holy Ghost, but the Son only. The Father has never been without His Son, or without His Holy Ghost. For they are all three, co-eternal and co-essential. There is neither first nor last; for they are all three one, in truth, in power, in goodness and in mercy." (Art. 8 Belgic Confession) Oh, I pray, do stop asking questions, do not seek to enter into this mystery; it is impossible. How could you, insignificant man, who are of yesterday and know nothing, understand God? Not he who understands, but he who relieves that He is, comes to God. And he who believes, embraces the revelation of God in His Word, that speaks clearly in both the Old and New Testament of this Trinity. Already to Adam, God was known as the Triune God, and after the fall He has revealed Himself to the elect as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Without knowledge of the Trinity there is no salvation. Athanasius rightly confessed, "This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved." The proofs for the Trinity are many. You need but choose a text here and there. In Gen. 1:26 God says, "Let *us* make man in *our* image, after *our* likeness." So God created man in His own image, male and female created He them. Also in Gen. 3:22 "Behold the man is become as one of us." This shows that there is more than one person in the Godhead, when He says, "Let *us* make man in *our* image"; and then He shows the unity when He says, "God created." It is true that He does not say how many Persons there are. But what is somewhat obscure in the Old Testament is very plain in the New. For when our Lord was baptized in Jordan, the voice of the Father was heard, saying, "This is My beloved Son"; the Son was seen in the water, and the Holy Ghost appeared in the shape of a dove. This form is also instituted by Christ in baptism, "Baptize all nations, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." In the Gospel of Luke the angel Gabriel addressed Mary, the mother of the Lord, thus, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Likewise: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you." "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three see one." Add to these the places where God and God, and Lord and Lord see distinguished as in Psalms 45 and 110, and those where the three persons are mentioned as in Psalm 33, texts that Hellenbroek quotes and are familiar to us all. Hear how the Lord speaks: "I (God) have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorra." Thus the Persons are distinguished as God and God. But why bring out more proofs? In the texts quoted we have irrefutable proof that there are three Persons in the one divine essence. Read Articles 8 and 9 of our Belgic Confession. The texts we have mentioned are enough to cause us to embrace the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as it has always been defended against Marcion, Mani, Praxeas, Sabellius, Samosatenus, Arius and others. Especially the Manicheans did much harm with their heathen doctrine and Arius, who considered Christ as the first created being, hence a creature. These two last named are best known. Athanasius, still a young deacon in Alexandria, defended the truth against the godless denial of the Divinity of the Son by Arius so strongly, that Arius was condemned at the Council of Nicer in 325. In the back of some Psalters we find the Nicene creed and the confession of Athanasius composed in 333. Although the Jew and the Mohammedan and the paganized Modernist deny it, God is one in Essence and three in Persons. These Persons are distinct from each other in their personal properties. The properties of His Essence are known to us as the communicable and incommunicable attributes. They belong to the Essence of God. The Father is eternal; the Son is eternal; the Holy Spirit is eternal; and this can be repeated with all the attributes of God's Essence. The personal properties of the three Persons belong only to each alone. Thus the personal property of the Father is that He is of Himself and exists by Himself; that of the Son, that He is begotten by the Father; and that of the Holy Spirit, that He proceeds from the Father and the Son. "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee", God testifies in Psalm 2. By eternal generation, the Son is the express image of His person, so very different from man who is made in the likeness of God. Man also was created, but the Son was begotten. With an incomprehensible, everlasting generation remaining within the Divine Essence, He exists as the Second Person in the Godhead, co-essential with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Thus the word generation means that the Father communicated to His Son His own Divine Essence. The personal property of the Holy Spirit is, that He proceeds from the Father and from the Son. Therefore He is not only called the Spirit of the Father, but also the Spirit of the Son. Gal. 4:6: "God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." With regard to His proceeding also from the Son, a bitter conflict arose in the sixth century, which led to a schism between the Eastern and the Western Church. The Eastern Church acknowledged that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, but denied its proceeding from the Son. The second and third Persons were placed in a lower rank than the Father. The Western Church objected to this and at the Council of Toledo in 589, the Filioque was added to the confession, meaning "and from the Son". Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in truth, in power, in goodness and in mercy. If we deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, then the work of the Spirit is separated from the work of the Son. The work of redemption then becomes a kind of sanctifying, which is apart from Christ's mediatorial work. The Lord Jesus, however emphatically teaches, that the work of the Holy Spirit rests upon the work of the Son. Therefore the Holy Spirit could not come, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Dependence upon the mediatorial ministry of Christ in the work of grace is closely connected with the proceeding of the Spirit from the Father and from the Son. Thus we confess three Persons in one Essence; and we speak of the Trinity, a word which is not found in the Bible literally, but is still Biblical: 1 John 5:7, and therefore we may use the term. Those who would introduce other terminology, hide under those new terms their denial of this glorious doctrine, which is indispensable for our salvation and will, if we may know anything of it, cause us to cry out, "God is great, and we know Him not." Although this doctrine far surpasses all human understanding, nevertheless, we now believe it by means of the Word of God, but expect hereafter to enjoy the perfect knowledge and benefit thereof in Heaven. It is thus established in the Word that the only and true God exists in three Persons. This great mystery of His Divine existence He has revealed, as we hear in the third place, so that faith in the Holy Trinity may be a fountain of comfort to God's people. III This comfort is based upon the existence, but also in the divine economy of the three Persons. To each of the three Persons, a particular work is ascribed, of which the Belgic Confession speaks in Article 9: "Moreover we must observe the particular offices and operations of these three Persons toward us. The Father is called our Creator, by His power; the Son is our Savior and Redeemer, by His blood; the Holy Ghost is our Sanctifier, by His dwelling in our hearts." In accordance with our confession, the Catechism also speaks of the Father and our creation, of the Son and our redemption, and the Holy Spirit and our sanctification. But do not misunderstand this as though the Son and the Holy Spirit had no part in the creation, as if one Person were excluded from the work of another. It is not thus God spoke, "Let us make men," and in Isaiah it really says, "For thy Makers are thy husbands." The Son also created: "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and without Him was not anything made that was made." "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and all the hosts of the heavens were made by the breath of His mouth." As all three Persons were active in creation, so also in redemption and sanctification. In speaking of the work of redemption, whose work came to the foreground? Whose own work was it to save sinners from hell? Was it not the Son's work? He, the second Person took on our flesh and blood; He was born of Mary, He lay in a manger, He suffered and died, He arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. You cannot say this of the Father, nor of the Holy Ghost. The Son of God procured salvation. He is Jesus, that is Savior, because He saves His people. Although He himself says, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me, draw him", the work of redemption is the work of the Son. In the same way, creation is the work of the Father and sanctification is the personal work of the Holy Spirit. The Father is the origin of all things. He is our Father because of creation, but also our Judge because of sin. The Son is our Redeemer; only by Him the elect are adopted as sons and daughters. The Holy Ghost, resting upon the finished work of Christ, dwells in the heart of His people; He takes of Christ and shows it to His own; He regenerates, leads into all truth, comforts and abides with His elect forever. A Triune God is the God of our salvation. The church of the Old Testament also knew this only comfort: "Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not"; "Thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy Name is from everlasting." They knew the eternal Godhead of the Son. "Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." They were prepared to honour the Son as they honored the Father, by the power of the Holy Ghost, of Whom Christ already spoke through Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Thus from the beginning, the work of the Holy Ghost was for the restoration of the elect. No one ever is saved outside of Christ, nor did anyone ever partake of the Mediator, but by the Holy Ghost. As the Son of God once took on our human nature from the Virgin Mary, so also once, the Holy Ghost was poured out on the Day of Pentecost to abide with His people. Closely related to this is the deliverance of the church from the bands of the law, in which it was brought in the ministry of the shadows, and the boldness which it has in Christ, when the Spirit bears witness with its spirit that it is a child of God. Bound by unbelief, so many who are not strangers to the work of grace, lack the inward boldness of heart, which is in the better dispensation of the covenant in the believing conscious knowledge of the three divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Yea, the Spirit is sent as the Comforter; that is the Advocate of His people. John uses that same word of Christ in 1 John 2:1. The church has an Advocate in heaven and an Advocate dwelling within it, who takes its part against those that strive against them. God's people may glory, "Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?", as we now sing from our Psalter No. 422, st. 4. Application Has that only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit also become the God of our salvation? Already in baptism, we were commended to the Triune God. Father, Son and Holy Ghost have by that sign placed a seal upon our forehead, confirming as it were with an oath, that He is the God of the covenant. But who of us learned to understand that? Do not many live on without observing it, without realizing their state of misery, without standing still upon their path? As far as their inner being is concerned, cannot many baptized people be called heathens, notwithstanding the many labors God bestows on us from day to day, inviting us by His Word to be saved? Continually, as the God of the Covenant, the Father calls from heaven and the Son sprinkles upon lost sinners for their salvation His blood, which is called the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel, and the Spirit testifies that He will apply what Christ has merited. But who has believed that report? Who bowed down into the dust before Him? Who came as a lost sinner to seek salvation in a Triune God? Hundreds confess that they believe in Him as He is revealed in His Word, but who of those hundreds knows Him by true faith? This is life eternal that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou has sent. But where did you obtain that more than superficial, that true saving knowledge? You, congregation, are blessed whenever you leave the house of prayer in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Did you receive this blessing with faith in your heart? Or did that official act which is more than a prayer, rebound from your hardened heart, which cast the Word of God to the wind? Of how many we must fear, that they reject the love of God, consider the blood of Christ an unclean thing, and grieve the Holy Spirit? Oh, tell me, what will your end be? You shall one day meet God, but how? You will meet Him as a consuming fire and everlasting burnings, with whom no sinner can dwell. All excuse for sinning is taken away. The Father's giving love, the Son's self-sacrificing love and the Spirit's applying love, all call for the saving of even the greatest of sinners. No sins are too many, no self-righteousness too great, no one too young, not one is too old. Oh, where shall we hide ourselves, if we reject that love and neglect so great a salvation? It will be as a gnawing worm when we must eternally reproach ourselves and admit it is our own fault. May His love break your stony heart, and urge you to seek Him for your salvation. He, the Triune God, is worthy to be loved, served and feared for His own sake. The value which the people of God see in Him, causes them to love Him; the love of God constrains to a return of love. The love which was shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit that regenerated them, came to dwell in them, and ingrafted them in Christ by faith, is the result of the drawing love of the Father. That work of the Triune God causes them to leave the world, sin, self and all - not by force, but willingly, with all their heart. Oh, unutterable is the love by which the regenerated soul goes out, seeking God and saying, "I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength." Did your soul also come to that blessed knowledge of God's Trinity? In our conviction we have to do with God, we have no knowledge of the Divine Persons. We have sinned against God and we fear that Divine Being, Who created us after His image, because of His righteousness; but He draws us by His love and mercy. The distinguishing knowledge of the Persons lies in Christ. Therefore, our Catechism deals with the doctrine of the Trinity, after the revelation of the way of salvation in Christ. Thus our soul learns to know the Persons in God, when Christ has revealed Himself to us as the Way of life. Let not then the life of your soul remain dependent on the condition of your heart, but let there be a lively urge to know Christ, the Surety, and through Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit. Oh, afflicted souls, keep courage. So many cannot deny that they have received some hope of salvation, when the all-sufficiency and fulness in Christ were opened to them, but it seems to them that the Father as an angry Judge shall condemn them forever. The sweet communion with the Surety and the strengthening of the Holy Spirit through the Word give hope, but the Father is their Judge, and they have never yet heard His acquittal in their soul. This causes them to fear that all they have will be too short when death comes, and justice shall condemn their soul. Oh, may the Lord give you light. There is no revelation of Christ, nor coming to Christ, except by the love of the Father. He Himself loves you. Only the light in your soul is lacking; faith has no power to penetrate into the mystery of the Trinity. You lack the sealing of the Holy Ghost and therefore faith loses its power in the attacks of Satan, and doubt retains its power in your heart to hold you captive. The knowledge of and the comfort from the Trinity is missed by many, since the grace of God does not work through in the soul. They see the three Persons more clearly in the manners of their existence, than in the beauty of their unity. How few of God's children have received conscious knowledge of their justification in Christ by faith and through the assurance of the Holy Spirit. And how sad it is that many rest in their justification, without seeking to attain the same consciousness of their adoption. They often become great Christians and they lack the childlike frame. The mystery of the Trinity of God has not been experimentally explained in their soul. How our heart should hunger for the divine solution of the mystery in which so much comfort lies, that our soul which in Adam was drawn away from the Father now may testify, "Abba, Father," and the great mystery is embraced, "One God in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is the God of our salvation." But how much continual exercise of faith is necessary in our soul, so that the work of the Holy Spirit may bear rich fruit for our sanctification. Christ was referring to this exercise of faith when He spoke, "Abide in Me, and I in you, and you shall bring forth much fruit." What a sad sight God's people often are in our days, because they lack the exercise of sanctification. It should wound our hearts to see the Father's honour thus violated, the Son's redemption thus negated and the Spirit's work opposed. The communion of faith with the Father in Christ through the Holy Spirit, keeps us far from sin and causes us to grow in Him Who is the Head of His church. Then even in the darkness, our soul shall have strength in God, and even in darkness there shall be such a fulfillment of the Father's love, that we shall sing the praises of the Lord, even in the night, seeking refuge under the shadow of His wings. For God loves His people eternally with an unchangeable love, which does not measure itself after our feelings, but is ever the same in Christ. God grant us that grace so that we may be encouraged to walk on our path, even in adversities. For God the Holy Spirit made His dwelling in you in regeneration, never to depart from you. The Lord Himself has said, "The Father shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you forever." Christ departed according to the flesh, the church would know Him no more after the flesh; but the people of God are given much more. The Holy Spirit came to depart no more, to lead into the truth, to open the mysteries of the Word for our salvation, to comfort us in all sorrow, to abide with us forever, even though we do not feel it, and our soul complains, "The Lord has forsaken me." How we should walk with uplifted head! The poor worldling has no ground on which to stand, and slips in adversity; but God's children have a strong consolation, so that Paul cried out, "We are always confident", "always" in prosperity and in adversity, in life and in death. Yea, we have a consolation, even in death, for death is swallowed up in victory. In this life we know only in part, only a small part of the Triune God. One day that which is in part shall be put away, and God shall bring His people into that perfect knowledge which is in heaven. Then the Father Who sits upon the throne, and the Son, Who purchased His own with His blood, and the Holy Spirit, Who prepared them for glory, the Triune God, shall be glorified forever. Oh, that we might walk here looser from the earth, more familiar with death, and with a livelier hope of glory! Amen. When I in righteousness at last Thy glorious face shall see, When all the weary night is past And I awake with Thee. To view the glories that abide, Then, then shall I be satisfied. Ps.17 (continued in part 10...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc1-09.txt .